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Today’s Starting Goalies – December 7th

Whether you’re interested for fantasy hockey reasons or just want to know which goalie your team is playing in a given day, we thought it might be helpful to share our best guesses (based on various previews from newspapers and Web sites plus our own instincts) on who might start each day.

7:00 pm ET games

Ottawa @ Montreal

Likely Ottawa starter: Pascal Leclaire – It sounds like Brian Elliott might have a minor injury, so Leclaire will at least get tonight’s start and maybe more. (Source.)

Likely Montreal starter: Carey Price – Of course. (Source.)

Colorado @ Florida

Likely Colorado starter: Craig Anderson – Does this mean he’s really back? (Source.)

Likely Florida starter: Tomas Vokoun – Things haven’t been going well for Vokoun and the Panthers lately, but maybe a little home cooking will do them some good. (Source.)

Buffalo @ Boston

Likely Buffalo starter: Ryan Miller – He’s 6-2 in his last eight starts, so perhaps the Sabres can start making a move. Beating the eighth place Bruins would be a great way to push that process forward. (Source.)

Likely Boston starter: Tim Thomas – The reigning save of the week winner starts in net for the Bruins. (Source.)

9:30 pm ET games

Anaheim @ Edmonton

Likely Anaheim starter: Jonas Hiller – You might know the drill by now: the Ducks do little to confirm their starter, but most of the time, it’s Hiller.

Likely Edmonton starter: Nikolai Khabibulin – The Bulin Wall earned a shutout and only allowed a goal for another win in his two starts since returning from injury, so it’s sensible to grant him another appearance. (Source.)

Tampa Bay @ Calgary

Likely Tampa Bay starter: Dan Ellis – It’s a good thing the Lightning can score in bunches, because neither of their goalies is likely to get a Vezina Trophy nomination anytime soon. (Source.)

Likely Calgary starter: Miikka Kiprusoff – As usual. (Source.)

Larkin will start season with Red Wings

Dylan Larkin
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Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.

Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.

“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”

Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings

Preseason stats: Five goalies with good numbers, five goalies with…not

Anders Nilsson
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Yeah, yeah, it’s a small sample size and it’s just the preseason, but here are some goaltending stats anyway.

Five goalies with good numbers

Anders Nilsson, Edmonton — zero goals on 53 shots. His solid play a likely factor in the decision to waive Ben Scrivens, who actually wasn’t that bad in the preseason (4 goals on 56 shots).

Martin Jones, San Jose — three goals on 100 shots. The Sharks are rolling the dice on a couple of cheap goalies. Jones and Alex Stalock have a combined cap hit of just $4.6 million.

Jacob Markstom, Vancouver — three goals on 79 shots. Can he finally get over the NHL hump? If so, he could make it a real competition with Ryan Miller.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus — five goals on 122 shots. The Blue Jackets have scored a ton of goals in the preseason, but there remain questions about their blue line. Bobrovsky has the ability to make a so-so defense look good.

Anton Khudobin, Anaheim — two goals on 67 shots. A good early sign for the Ducks, who have Frederik Andersen in the starting role and want to give young John Gibson more time to develop in the AHL.

Five goalies with bad numbers

Thomas Greiss, Islanders — 14 goals on 94 shots. Has to be a bit of concern in Brooklyn. The Isles got below-average backup play last season from Chad Johnson. They wanted to fix that with the Greiss signing.

Robin Lehner, Buffalo — 11 goals on 95 shots. Tim Murray paid a hefty price to get the 24-year-old out of Ottawa. With the aforementioned Johnson in the backup role, the goaltending story is worth watching.

Jeff Zatkoff, Pittsburgh — 11 goals on 74 shots. Granted, Marc-Andre Fleury and Matthew Murray weren’t particularly sharp either. The Penguins conceded 28 goals in eight games.

Kari Lehtonen, Dallas — 15 goals on 84 shots. For a Stars team that desperately needs better goaltending, that has to be worrying. Antti Niemi wasn’t a whole lot better either, allowing eight goals on 65 shots. Fair question to ask — how many of all those goals were attributable to poor defensive play?

Pekka Rinne, Nashville — 12 goals on 91 shots. Has earned the benefit of the doubt, but thought we’d point it out anyway.